By Nasser Arrabyee/16/03/2011
About 300 Yemenis were injured when security forces used rubber and live bullets and tear gas to break up clashes with hands, sticks, daggers, and rocks, between anti-and pro-regime demonstrators in the western coastal city of Hodieda, medics and local sources from both sides said Wednesday.
About 240 were injured by tear gas , 30 by rocks, 5 by live billets, and 20 by daggers, according to the medics sources.
The clashes happened after the ruling party supporters held a big rally in which tens of thousands of people from all over the province came to support the embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his initiatives for dialogue and reforms.
Despite the fact that the anti-Saleh protesters were in their sit-in square about 4 km away, some of the ruling party supporters passed through the same place and the clashes happened.
The two sides have different and conflicting interpretations for what happened.
The anti-regime protesters say the “thugs” of the ruling party in cooperation with the security forces, while going home from their rally, hurled them with rocks and they(anti-regime protesters) retaliated and then the clashes expanded more and more.
The pro-regime protesters say, the “thugs” of the Islah, the Islamist largest opposition party that leads the coalition of the opposition, started to hurl them with stones injuring about 20, and then the clashes started.
The medics sources said that one of the injured protesters died of his injury immediately after he was admitted. But the ruling party supporters said in a statement later that the one who died from his injuries was a member of the ruling party and he was injured only in a car accident in the city and not in the clashes.